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This review is from: Arguably (Hardcover)
I have read every one of these essays, especially those on Lincoln, Jefferson, and John Brown, with tremendous profit. Hichens was a luminous writer and public figure, and we are poorer for his passing. I will miss him very much, and will treasure the fact that I own these essays and can return to them frequently when I need to be challenged and made to think. Hitch says, in one of his book reviews published in this collection, that it is refreshing to know that he will be treated as an adult by the writer. His writing always treated us like adults, and presumed an ability to understand language, logic, and history. He also did not pander to those with whom he disagreed by softening his every argument out of a need to avoid giving offense, but made solid and cogent arguments, and invited debate and disagreement. An absolutist with passion is dangerous, and Hitch's work had an aura of danger, as if one were undertaking an adventure when picking up a volume with his name on it. As he himself noted in Letters to a Young Contrarian (Art of Mentoring) (to my mind the ESSENTIAL book by Hitchens) we often hear the saying that argument "throws more heat than light." Nonsense Hitch replies. We who know physics know that heat is the only source of light. A cold sun does not exist.
Requiescat in Pace, Mr. Hitchens.